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Old 24-09-2011, 20:25   #1
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Spirit Yachts - Wood and Maintenance

I've been eyeing various boats from Spirit Yachts over the past year or so and my curiosity is getting the better of me. Assuming that I actually felt like paying for one of these beauties does anyone here have some guidance on how much maintenance they would require given that they are made largely of wood?

What does the maintenance schedule look like for boats like this? I'm sure the basics include things like weekly exterior cleaning for bird poop and grime, etc. but what else should someone who gets a boat like this expect?

Here's a link to the company.

Spirit Yachts Modern Classic Yachts

I've had J-Boats and Jeanneaus so I know the scope of "regular" boat maintenance, how much more work are we talking about? 10% 100%

I'd love to hear from people with wooden boat experience!
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Old 25-09-2011, 05:05   #2
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Re: Spirit Yachts - Wood and Maintenance

As you are into Spirits, you will very much enjoy the latest [Oct] Cruising World, it has a multi page 'road test' of one, looks beautiful. As it gives the owners names you may be able to contact them for first hand info, or a visit if you are near RI. Bruce. PS welcome to the forum.
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Old 25-09-2011, 06:42   #3
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Re: Spirit Yachts - Wood and Maintenance

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, firestarter.

You might be interested in the the
"USCG Guidance on Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls" (NVIC 7-95)

NVIC 7-95 ➥ http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1995/n7-95.pdf
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Old 25-09-2011, 08:55   #4
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Re: Spirit Yachts - Wood and Maintenance

G'Day Firestarter,

I had a brief look at their website, and all I could find about their construction methods was that they used "most modern wood-epoxy composite" techniques. Not enough info for real discussion IMO.

Our Insatiable II is Western Red Cedar strip-plank epoxy composite construction, with glass inside and out. She's just turned 21 years in August, has done on the order of 100K miles at sea (40 K in our hands) and is still in pristine shape. The single drawback of this construction is that the hull is painted rather than gel-coated. This often can look far better than gel-coat, but is somewhat more fragile and needs renewing sooner if cosmetic condition is important to the owner. Otherwise, the maintenance is similar to a normal GRP hull -- no special issues like worrying about worm or drying out/caulking when on the hard. We have found her structure to be surprisingly stiff (compared to previous GRP boats), reasonably well insulated (thermal), but not quiet as the Spirit folks claim. In fact, the hull/deck structure is sorta like a drumhead, and transmits sound very well indeed... downright noisy at sea, and raindrops are loud at anchor.

IMO, this construction is perhaps the very best of compromises for non-productionline boat building.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 26-09-2011, 20:59   #5
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Re: Spirit Yachts - Wood and Maintenance

I've been talking to an owner of a Spirit-46 on another forum and he had this to say about the hull:

"The paint on the hull is LP, and as it's a cold molded boat with West System Epoxy and Glass over the cedar, the hull paint lasts as long as AwlGrip or Sterling LP lasts - about 10 to 15 years between re-coating depending upon latitude and care."

So it sounds similar to your experience, Jim. Maybe not as bad as I feared but still somewhat more than a fiberglass hull. It definitely warrants some consideration.
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Old 26-09-2011, 21:05   #6
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Re: Spirit Yachts - Wood and Maintenance

Steamgoat:

Thanks for the welcome, I appreciate it! I have the latest Cruising World in front of me and I'm looking at the article now, I'll definitely reach out to the owners at some point. I'm on the Chesapeake so going up to RI for a visit is certainly a possibility. There's an article in the latest Yachting World on the new 50 & 57 DH (deckhouse) boats as well, those are also very interesting and beautiful boats.
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